Boys Varsity Soccer move onto playoffs in emotional nail-biter against San Rafael

Senior players thank their parents and present roses after the game. (From the left: Griffin Waite, Erik Hargedahl, Keoni Schubert, Logan Smith)

Lucie Martikan

Senior players thank their parents and present roses after the game. (From the left: Griffin Waite, Erik Hargedahl, Keoni Schubert, Logan Smith)

Tensions high, the Drake boys’ varsity soccer team left it all out on the field against San Rafael this cloudless Thursday afternoon, knowing that a loss, or even a tie, would forfeit their chance of moving onto playoffs. On top of this, it was Senior Night, dedicating the game to the team’s six seniors and their families.

Lucie Martikan
Senior Griffin Waite fights for ball control while junior Miles Crock attacks from the front.

Needless to say, this was a high risk game. For the parents of these seniors, this was the loudest they had ever cheered. For them, this could be the last time, after countless games, practices, and tournaments, they saw their kids play soccer. 

As soon as the game started, it was clear how hard the boys would have to work to bring home this win. Despite no goals scored during the first half, the game was anything but slow. Sprinting up and down the field, both teams were dripping in sweat less than ten minutes into the game.
Going into the second half, the team came back even more energized than before. Screams of encouragement came from the sidelines, the entire team on their feet in support. Their excitement in contrast to San Rafael, slumped on the bench.

Lucie Martikan
Junior Luis Escobar gears up for a pass.

Finally, with less than ten minutes left in the game, senior Noah Gardner booted the ball up to open junior Luis Escobar, who navigated himself through San Rafael’s defense and scored for Drake.

The field erupted in cheers; the players were overcome with joy, knowing that they had secured a 1-0 win against San Rafael.

“These guys deserve this win, they earned it today” said coach Rene Ayala in regards to his team’s impressive win Thursday.

This win, securing the team a spot in the Northern California Section (NCS) playoffs, has sparked optimism in the players.

 Senior Griffin Waite said, “We’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but now that we made the playoffs we have a fresh start.”

Lucie Martikan
Drake and San Rafael teams line up before the game.
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